Nobody who saw Depeche Mode in 1980 could have predicted that those four fresh-faced, synth-pop innocents would transform themselves into stadium-filling rock gods within a few years. Yet Depeche Mode went on to become one of the ten bestselling British acts of all-time, ranked alongside such exalted company as The Beatles, the Stones, Led Zeppelin, and David Bowie. And, after three decades together, the group continues to thrive, both critically and commercially. In Just Can't Get Enough, published to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the group's debut album, Speak & Spell, author Simon Spence charts that transformation. From a tiny nightclub residency in their native Essex to facing tens of thousands in huge stadiums in Europe and America in the mid 80s, Spence examines a musical journey that took the band from early 'ultra-pop' hit singles to the stark Black Celebration album. Hailing from Basildon, an experimental post-war New Town, the all-electronic Depeche Mode were, in the words of singer Dave Gahan, a "new sort of band from a new sort of town". And Basildon itself, Spence argues, defined them - its brutal Modernist architecture imposed on a rural landscape dotted with primitive shacks a mirror for the angular sound and dark loneliness of the band's music. Part musical odyssey, part cultural history, Spence draws on dozens of firsthand interviews to give us an inside view of one of the most unlikely stories in pop and rock.
Simon Spence collaborated with Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham on the acclaimed memoirs Stoned (Vintage 2001) and 2Stoned (Vintage 2003), and then wrote his own book about Loog Oldham's legendary Immediate Records (Black Dog 2008). As a journalist Simon has written features on popular culture for many publications, including the NME, The Face, i-D, Dazed & Confused, the Independent, the Japan Times, and the International Herald Tribune. He lives in Manchester with his wife and three children.